developing a Sustainable Youth-led sports program for Botswana

developing a Sustainable Youth-led sports program for Botswana

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Using sports to channel the energy and enthusiasm of young people away from the risky behaviors.

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Your idea
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Plot your innovation within the mosaic of solutions
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Low self-value and stability leads to risky choices

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Award responsibility with support

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:

This field has not been completed

Describe your program or new idea in one sentence.

Using sports to channel the energy and enthusiasm of young people away from the risky behaviors.

What makes your initiative uniquely positioned to create change in your community?

The unique thing about SEDYEL is that; it's for young people by young people. It gives young people an oppurtunity to take initiative as they are on the driver's seat. SEDYEL works at the grassroots level to build local leadership capacity and community involvement by actively engaging young people in sports through organized weekly league matches and Empowerment tournaments.

Describe how you organize and carry out your work?

The need for youth led programming in sports and other creative pursuits for young Motswana cannot be overemphasized. Such bodies would provide activities that would impede on the worrisome trends mentioned above. As well such structures will present ideal platforms for offering appropriate HIV/AIDS education, leadership and training directly to the youth. This would develop new responsible leaders among the youth, once who would then educate their peers.SEDYEL offers the opportunity to engage youth in an integrated approach to build skills that they need to protect themselves from HIV infections, through Peer to Peer education model. Through Community and School Outreach Programs, SEDYEL has been able to reach in and out of school youth, building their lifeskills and leadership skills as part of an intergrated sport development program. Physical activity interwoven with the Kicking AIDS Out concept, is an ideal delivery mechanism to tackle youth development issues and HIV/AIDS.

What is your plan to scale and expand your innovation into your community and beyond?

SEDYEL has just edited its 5 year strategic plan where it intends to replicate to other districts in Botswana beyond the South East District. SEDYEL has also started working with the Botswana National Library Services through the Rothschild foundation, primarily looking at creative ways of engaging the communities and helping the communities to utilise the libraries that the Rothschild foundation is erecting in Botswana.

What other resources, institutional, or policy needs would be necessary to help sustain and scale up your idea?

While this is clearly a “youth for youth” initiative and must remain so to be successful, the ongoing support of adult mentors and senior staff from SEDC, as well as support from national government, the community and private sector, is crucial for the project’s success. For example, continued access to office and meeting space is essential and transport for the teams from different villages to play each other in tournaments and from time to time for league organizers to reach the different villages, is also key. SEDC continues to provide some transportation on weekends but these needs to be planned for and requested in advance. Acquisition of the plot of land and the portable office space will enable dedicated access to some office and meeting space for SEDYEL. The porter camp will of course only be an interim solution as it is very small for the number of youth engaged in the project. SEDC and the youth leaders will draw up site development plans which will include office and meeting space, so that external funding can be sought. In addition, a SEDYEL mini-bus to transport the youth will be a priority for fundraising or private sector donations

Describe your impact in one sentence, commenting on both the individual and community levels.

SEDYEL intends to develop a sustainable youth-led sports program for South East District in Botswana through the creation of a district wide league

What impact has your work achieved to date?

SEDYEL is a youth-initiative which aims to use sports as a tool for youth development. Its overall goal is to create a sustainable youth led sports program. To date SEDYEL has an on-going League that is involving 94 teams (24 of them being female teams) and approximately 2000 youth in the whole South East District. We are extremely proud of our accomplishments to date and consider this only the beginning of a growing youth-run sports organization that will truly be Botswana’s first. Through the use of sport, SEDYEL has created a fun and healthy environment for in and out of school youths, where they can openly share their skills, information and knowledge in developing one another. Through the Kicking AIDS Out network, SEDYEL has offered appropriate HIV/AIDS education, lifeskills and leadership training directly to the youth and thus has impacted positively to the lives of the youth as many have been reformed from the Juveniles and jails and integrated back to the society.

Number of individuals served

SEDYEL offers the opportunity to engage youth in an integrated approach to build skills that they need to protect themselves from HIV infection, but also to break barriers surrounding stigma and discrimination. To date, the project boasts of being one of the largest youth run football league in Botswana, with a registration of 94 teams (24 being female teams) involving approximately over 2000 youth in 5 villages in South East District with 20 of the youth having been trained as Kicking AIDS Out Peer Educators, the first in Botswana and another 30 as Adolescent Sexual Health Educators

Community impact

SEDYEL has been in full operation since November 2005 and through the Community and School Outreach programs, we have been able to reach approximately 10,000 people indirectly within our District over a period of 2 years and we are in the process of evaluating the impact that has been created so far. This includes Hospice/ Home Based Care homes; Schools and Our communities through Village Outreach Programs and our youth through the Football league clinics.

Society at large

This field has not been completed

What measure do you use to gauge your impact and why?

In the past years, South East District was regarded as one the most dangerous parts of Botswana, with about 7 gangster groups mainly formed by young boys in the communities. Since the creation of the SEDYEL, these gangster groups have been turned into football teams which are now actively participating in the league healthily playing against and with each other, which in the past never happened. These individuals are now motivated, empowered and can now use their skills in community development

How is your initiative currently being financed and how would you finance further expansion and/or replication?

Our partners (City of Toronto, Commonwealth Games Canada and UK Sport), have pledged to financially support the program for the next 5 years leading to 2011. For sustainability purposes, SEDYEL is looking at possibilities of coming up with diverse funding sources and opportunities locally and internationally and to come up with social enterprise activities in order to help self finance some of the program activities and contribute towards the overall financial sustainability and diversification.

Provide information on your current finances and organization:

The SEDYEL is run by dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly and endlessly to see that the programs are run successfully with mentorship by South East District Council staff, Commonwealth Games Canada personnel and Mathare Youth Sports Association Youth Development Officers on an annual budget of approximately P350, 000 kindly provided by it's partners and directly used on it's activities. The youth Volunteers are reimbursed for any costs incurred while undertaking SEDYEL activities and so far there are no any revenue that have been generated.

Who are your potential partners and allies?

Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) Kenya, Physically Active Youth (pay)Namibia, Schools Without Boaders (SWB) Canada

Who are your potential investors?

South East District Council (Botswana)
Commonwealth Games Canada
UK Sport
City of Toronto
Kicking AIDS Out Network

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

With a population of 1.7 million, Botswana had the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world in 2006. 38% of adults tested positive, 27% of people aged 15-19 tested positive, and for women aged 15-29 the rate was as high as 50%. The scourge has resultantly left a lot of the productive rural population sick and considerable number of children either infected and/or orphaned. This inevitably depicts the need for a supportive intervention from government, churches, Donor Agencies and even youth led initiatives.

"A long mile journey begins with a step"

In 2001, the South East District Council formed an HIV/AIDS capacity building partnership with the City of Toronto (Canada) supported by the Federation of the Canadian Municipalities (FCM). This partnership involved collaboration on a variety of fronts one being Youth engagement and delivery of HIV/AIDS education/information through sports. Commonwealth Games Association of Canada (CGC) became involved in the partnership by assisting to develop the Ramotswa Youth Sports Association (RYSA) within that particular village beginning 2003. South East District Youth Empowerment League (SEDYEL) was born out of this great initiative in 2005, with UK Sports and Mathare Youth Sports Association coming on board in 2005. T

“SEDYEL was formed to channel the energy and enthusiasm of young people away from the risky behaviors which are the main factors in Botswana’s high incidence of HIV/AIDS.”

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material.

I am 23 year old young man, born and raised in the village of Ramotswa in the Land of the Diamonds and open spaces;Botswana. I am the third in a family of four. An idealist with a lot of dreams and aspirations. As a young HIV/AIDS activist, my passion is my Community and I have always held an avid interest in international development. I work as a Life Skill Educator/Youth Empowerment Worker with the South East District Youth Empowerment League in Botswana where I started as a volunteer in 2005.